In an apparent bid to avoid future lawsuits, YouTube and Facebook Content moderators have been asked to sign documents stating they understand that the job could give them post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Accenture a services company which provides content moderators for social media companies including Facebook and Twitter sent PTSD disclosure forms to moderators they hired, According to BBC.
“I understand the content I will be reviewing may be disturbing. It is possible that reviewing such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),”Extract PTSD form
YouTube and Facebook content moderators work to monitor, control and regulate the contents of the social platforms to meet the socially acceptable standards. They use a set of rules and regulations to decide what is acceptable and what is not.
Content Moderators are often exposed to graphically, emotional and mentally disturbing content like murder, child porn and rape due to the requirements of their jobs.
Exposure to these contents could cause serious PTSD issues. This was the case of Chris Gray, who sued Facebook in 2018 for psychological trauma while working as a contract content moderator for the company.
Gray claimed that the trauma he endured was due to poor training and lack of adequate mental health resources on the job.
He is not alone. Selena Scola who was a content moderator at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, sued the company for her exposure to highly toxic, unsafe, and injurious content during her employment as a content moderator at Facebook.
However, Facebook in a statement has acknowledged the difficulty of the job, adding that the Facebook content moderators were given adequate training and psychological support.
“We recognize this review work can be difficult, and we work closely with our partners to ensure that the people who do this work are supported. We require everyone who reviews content for Facebook go through an in-depth, multi-week training program on our Community Standards and have access to extensive psychological support to ensure their wellbeing.Extract Statement by Facebook
The PTSD disclosure form comes after several lawsuits appear to be gaining traction and increasing scrutiny to the working health of content moderators.
The PTSD form describes various support services available to moderators affected by the job, including a “wellness coach,” a hotline, and the human resources department.
Also, the forms reveal employees responsibility for monitoring changes in their mental health. This revelation added with the fact that wellness coach is not a medical doctor and cannot diagnose or treat mental health disorders translates that the moderators are in charge of their health and the company is not liable for any damage caused.
Cases of PTSD and other mental health issues have been on the rise among content moderators, according to a recent report by The Verge. The contents of this new PTDS disclosure forms would make moderators less likely to sue in event that they become disabled.
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